Bushfire support for wine grape growers a welcome move

Australian Grape & Wine welcomes the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management the Hon. David Littleproud MP’s announcement that the application process for grants to assist wine grape growers who were impacted by crop loss from the Black Summer fires of 2019-20 is now open.

Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine said that for the large number of wine grape growers, though not directly impacted by fire, some had their grapes rendered unusable for wine due to the impacts of smoke on grapes.

‘Fire and the impacts of smoke will continue to have long term impacts on viticulture in Australia. The $5 million Wine Grape Smoke Taint grant program is welcomed as it will assist growers, in some measure, to survive in a very difficult year’ said Tony Battaglene.

Wine grape growers who suffered crop loss due to smoke taint in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, but whose vineyards are outside of bushfire activated areas, can access up to $10,000 to support their recovery efforts. The growers will need to show that they have experienced a decline in revenue or grapes harvested of 40% or more over a three-month period. The Wine Grape Smoke Taint grants may be used to cover salaries, rent, wages, utilities, equipment, fuel, business development, building resiliency and/or financial advice.

“The value that the grape and wine sector provides to our exports, tourism and the social and economic health of regional Australia is huge. We welcome the government’s strong support for the grape and wine sector and will continue to work with them to help development of an industry that is more resilient in the future” said Tony Battaglene.

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